I wanted to talk about celebrities – I’ve met a few – and how we, like Victor Frankenstein, are the creators of the media monsters. In fact I had a whole rant worked out, but it all went out the window. No I didn’t forget it, I went out today, to my daughters school and watched their Remembrance Day ceremony.
As a writer, I’m supposed to be in tune with perspective. Remember that writer’s eye I talked about? Well even writers with their mystical ‘eye’ can get too close to something, or even too far away, and perspective sneaks up and smacks us upside the head.
These children, with voices of angels and eyes not yet jaded by our media monsters and close-minded opinions, showed a respect and reverence that I feel a good number of adults today could learn a thing or two from.
They had sketches that showed the human face of the wars past and present. They showed films like “A Pittance of Time” by Terry Kelly and sang “In Flanders Field” a song arranged by Adele Simmons (she combined the Flanders Field poem with the tune of Greensleeves).
There I was, a grown man, choking back tears. Yes my grandfather fought in WWII as a wireless gunner in the Halifax bombers for the RAF. Yes I knew several family members and friends of the family that served and lived to tell about it and sadly, there are very few left. The thing that grabbed my heart and lodged it securely in my throat was to hear it from small voices that, believe it or not, do get it.
Our veterans fought for our rights; they fought for the rights of other countries not big enough to stand by themselves; they fought the good fight against those that would not sit for peace and I thank them for that every day. But today I would also like to thank just people. The ones that help us remember, that won’t let us forget.
Thank-you Adele Simmons. Thank-you Jennifer Wilson. Thank-you teachers of Scott Central. And thank-you parents of the children that ‘get it’.
Mostly thank-you veterans, past and present. I accept that torch from failing hands and I hold it up high so that I remember, so that the lessons learned are not forgotten.